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Marine Environment: High Risk Areas

Lord Davies of Oldham: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Alistair Darling) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing 32 locations around the UK coast that have been identified as Marine Environmental High Risk Areas (MEHRAs). The locations of these areas have been identified after taking into account shipping risk, environmental sensitivity and other environmental protection measures already in place at each location and follow recommendations made by the late Lord Donaldson in his report Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas.

MEHRAs will be an essential aid to passage planning since their primary purpose is to inform ships' masters of areas where they need to exercise even more caution than usual. This is just part of the information available to mariners to enable them to navigate UK waters safely. MEHRAs will now be notified by a marine guidance note to mariners who will be expected to exercise an even higher degree of care than usual when passing through them. They will also be marked on admiralty charts.

Paper copies of the full MEHRAs report is available in the Libraries of both Houses and is also published at

Security and Counter-terrorism

Lord McKenzie of Luton: My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Gordon Brown) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
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A secure, safe and strong Britain requires concerted action against global terrorism with all the means at our disposal: military, security, intelligence, economic and culture. To this end co-ordinating the way we address international terrorism will be a central feature of the coming spending review.

Just as there should be no safe haven for those who perpetrate terrorism, so there should no hiding place for those who finance terrorism. The Government will bring forward new measures to enhance the prevention, identification and disruption of terrorist financing. First, in order to strengthen the prevention of terrorist financing, the Government will:

Secondly, in order to identify terrorist networks and strengthen the operation of counter-terrorist finance measures, the Government are approving the publication today of new guidance by the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group providing strategic advice
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to banks and financial institutions on targeting suspicious transactions; and will establish a new dedicated forum to bring them together with government counter-terrorism agencies to formalise information sharing, take action when specific threats arrive.

Thirdly, to disrupt terrorist networks when they come to light, the Treasury will strengthen asset-freezing mechanisms to make them more proactive and pre-emptive. This will include a greater joint working between the Treasury and other departments and agencies, both in respect of targeting and enforcement.

The Government will also seek to hold the presidency of the Financial Action Task Force to provide a platform to promote strong implementation of terrorist finance measures worldwide.

It is also fitting that we honour the contribution of those who fought in past conflicts. In order to support the fundraising for the Armed Forces memorial in Staffordshire, with the approval of Her Majesty the Queen, the Government will make available £1.5 million from the proceeds of a coin to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar towards the funding of this memorial.

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